Reserved Access to the Museums
Bypass the lines through our Reserved Access to the Museums on our Semi-Private Tour of the Vatican Museums and share the quality of the papal art collection on an engaging tour of the Vatican highpoints with an expert cultural guide.
No One Gives You More Access
Our tour really starts when you see the giant dome of St Peters Basilica rising over the gardens in the center of the Vatican. Among the rooftops of this small state, you'll just be able to make out the rather plain looking exterior of the Sistine Chapel. To get there you'll enter the Pinecone Courtyard where the Popes used to welcome visiting dignitaries. Today it acts as a sort of holding area for groups about to enter the Museum halls. Between the statues from Egypt and the unusual modern sculptures, you will learn about Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel is a place of worship and there is no guiding allowed inside so this is where you will discover what to look out for.
The path to the Chapel will take you through rooms full of maps and statues, marble floors, exquisite ceilings and walls lined with hanging tapestries and glittering frescoes. Your guide will keep you enthralled with stories of the artists, their techniques and their relationship with the popes as you make your way towards the chapel. Once inside you will have time to examine all the finer points of the artwork inside and discover the genius behind Michelangelo's radical techniques which are considered the apex of the Renaissance style.
No One Gets You in Faster
When you leave the Sistine Chapel on our tour you do not have to line up again with others to enter St. Peter's Basilica. You can go straight through the doors to stare up at the enormous dome inside. You'll get to view Michelangelo's sublime Pieta, Bernini's twisted bronze canopy and the resting places of the popes. Afterward, say arrivederci to the Swiss Guards and head out into St. Peters Square which was designed by Bernini to be strangely circular.
Over the course of 3 hours, our guides will uncover the stories of the Vatican Museums and its exquisite architecture on a tour designed to be as engaging as possible in a location which attracts so many people every day. From the heavenly Basilica to the bible stories coming to life on the frescoes, you'll discover how the Popes used art to carry their news in the centuries before bibles were printed.
- Appropriate dress is required for entry into some sites on this tour. Knees, shoulders, and backs must be covered.
- Please note that in case of unexpected closures of some of the areas inside the Museums, the guide may have to modify the itinerary slightly. For example, if some of the internal connecting areas are closed for safety reasons, Raphael's Rooms may be replaced with Pio Clementino Museum, where Laoocon and Apollo Belvedere statues are.
- Saint Peter’s Basilica is subject to last-minute closures for religious ceremonies. When this occurs, we're happy to offer customers an extended tour of the Vatican Museums. While we endeavour to tell tour groups ahead of time if there are any planned disruptions to the Basilica's opening hours, this is not always possible and in these cases we are unable to provide refunds or discounts.
This tour is subject to a 24-hour cancelation policy. If you wish to cancel or amend your booking, you can do so without charge by contacting us up to 24 hours in advance of your expected departure time.